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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 28, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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how about a teacher, who reports sexual abuse to the government, and is fired because of that reporting? now, we know from the news recently that there was a church, whose religious beliefs centered around sexually exploiting women and i believe children, regardless of whether it is your religious beliefs or not. doesn't society have a right at some point to say certain conduct is unacceptable that even if religious, smoking peyote, and once we say that is unacceptable, why shouldn't we protect the people for doing what the law requires ie report
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it? so, how do we deal with that situation under your theory, under your theory nothing survives. no private claim. >> i think if you look at the court of appeals cases, they have not indulged in pretext inquiries for ministers. the case you present is obviously a difficult case and i would say two things. we think the appropriate rule should be the government can do many things to force reporting depending on the people who don't report, but a discharge claim by a minister presents the question why she was discharged and the court should stay out of that. >> the problem with that is that it doesn't take account for the societal interest. it encourages the reporting. in fact, if we do find a ministerial exception in the way you want, you take away the incentive for reporting.
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we actually do the opposite of what society needs. >> i understand that concern and that was my second , that if we want to carve out an exception for cases like child abuse where the government's interest is in protecting the child, not an interest in protecting a minister, if you get such a case we think you could carve out that exception. >> how? give me a theoretical framework for this. >> first you have to identify the government's interest in regulation. if the government's interest is in protecting ministers from discrimination we are squarely within the heart of the ministerial exception. if the government's interest is something quite different from that like protecting children, then you can assess whether that government interest is sufficiently compelling to justify interfering with the relationship between the church and its ministers. but, the government interest is at its major when the claim is we want to protect these
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ministers as such. we want to tell the church is what criteria they should apply for selecting or removing ministers. >> mr. lay cough, ministerial exception is not something new. it has been widely recognized as justice sotomayor mentioned by appeals going back 40 years, so we can see how the recognition of this exception with certain contours, has worked out but how has it worked out over this past 40 years? have they been a great many cases, a significant number of cases eggs -- involving the kinds of things at justice that justice sotomayor is certainly rightly concerned about, system in which ministers have been fired for reporting criminal violations and that sort of thing? >> i am not aware of any such case. the one case i am aware of those cuts the other way. a minister, a priest accused of
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sexually abusing children who was fired suited to get his job back in in that case ended and they were able to get rid of him. there is a search condition pending in which a teacher with a long series of problems in her school called the police about an allegation of sexual abuse that did not happen at the school and did not involve a student at school and did not involve a parent at school someplace else, and called the police and had them come interview the student without any communication with her principal. and they tried to spin that as a charge of disputing sexual abuse. those are the only two cases i'm aware of and even approach touching on. >> but here what we have is a claim of retaliation, so that she can't even get a hearing. so we can look at the various tests they have proposed here and it's difficult to formulate
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this. but this can't even be litigated because she is discharging the allegations, that there is a retaliation for even asking for a hearing where these tests could be applied. >> she can't get a hearing in civil court. she could've had a hearing in the senate before decision-makers who had been independent of the local church. this court has repeatedly said churches can create tribunals for the governments of their officers. >> again, that could be an argument you could make in the pretext hearing. >> an argument we make in the hearing and one of the ministerial exception applies. >> but you are asking for an exemption so these issues can even be tried. >> well, we are asking for -- >> someone like a summary judgment.
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>> it was precisely -- >> that is the analogy i think. >> it was a motion for summary judgment. >> no, no, no what she is saying is he basically gave me some retirement. you didn't allow me to go to the agency to have a proper test applied. the summary judgment was just an analogy. [laughter] >> i'm not entirely sure i understand the question. we agreed you couldn't go to civil court. she could've gone to the senate. she wasn't cut off from that and she decided not to to do at. >> what i'm saying is there is substantial interest that the church has that can be litigated in the eeoc hearings. she was fired simply for asking for a hearing. >> i understand that, but once you start to litigate these cases -- >> i think your point is that it's none of the business of the government to decide what the substantial judgment of the
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church's. >> that is my point, maybe even one of my most important points. these decisions are committed by separation of church and state but beyond that, once this process of trying to i'd -- identify. we look at the other issues in this case, doesn't work. as justice breyer said in the first circuit opinion that requires more distinctions that create entanglement rather than avoid it. >> council, you referred to the ministerial exception but of course your position extends beyond ministers. how do we decide who is covered at the ministerial exception and who is not? >> here i think it's very easy. she is a commissioned minister in the church and she holds an ecclesiastical office. she teaches religious class. >> let's face a teacher who teaches purely secular subject that leads the class and grace
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before lunch. is that somebody who would be covered i ministerial exception? >> the lower court says that person is not covered and we are not challenging that rule. obviously there has to be some kind of quantitative threshold. >> i thought your position would be if she is a commissioned minister, as distinguished from a teacher, who conducts grace or takes the class to chapel, i take it that you categorize someone as a minister although it is a math teacher, you would save the say the extent of her religious duties don't matter. what counts is that she is commissioned as a minister. >> if she is commissioned as a minister and that is not a sham than we think that makes her a minister.
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>> if you are teaching physics -- >> we tried whether it's a sham? [inaudible] is a sham different from a pretext? >> i certainly meant something different. as sham is more extreme and it goes to a different point in the analysis. you can decide whether she's really a minister. that is the threshold question the courts must decide and we have a person with a ministerial title who is doing nothing at all religious or ministerial. we have a church that tries to say everyone who ever worked for or whoever me as a minister the courts can deal with those cases. >> so you would allow the government courts to probe behind the church's assertion that this person is a minister? you would allow that, right? like once it's determined that the person is a minister you would not allow the government to decide whether the firing was
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a pretext? >> that's right. churches have different ideas about who is a minister. there are some churches who think all of our hearings or investors of our faith. now does that mean everyone who is a member of that church qualifies as a minister because that is part of the church's belief? >> i don't think it means that and again, i think the courts have some capacity to look at what this employee is actually doing and he is not performing any of the functions of a religious leader, he is not teaching the faith -- >> everyone of our deterrent stands as a witness to our belief. not every church is hierarchical in terms of different offices. >> i understand that, but you know, lay people in many churches are expected to be
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witnesses. laypeople have to be witnesses. the fact that you are expected to witness to the faith when the occasion arises doesn't make you a minister. >> but the answer you gave to the chief justice seems to me to be this case. >> i was interested, i didn't know about this. this minister capacity in this particular church and the chief justice indicates many churches don't have, some churches don't have what we think of as professional or full-time ministers. they are all ministers. >> well, that, that can be litigated. that can be investigated and i suppose when we do that we say, how many secretary functions do you perform and that is what this case is. >> but you don't even want that issue to be tried? that issue can't even be explored. >> how many functions you perform can be explored. the issue that can't be explored is whether she is a minister
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because we think she clearly is. >> but that term is a legal term. what is decided by the law? >> that is correct. >> that is a deference to the church's understanding of whether someone is a minister. >> we think there should be deference to good faith understandings, but we are not arguing for a rule that would enable an organization to fraudulently declared that everyone is a minister when it's not true. you decided that tony alum oks 20 years ago. we are not defending that. >> what makes it not true? what is the legal definition of minister? that you have to lead the congregation? in their religious services or what? >> we think if you teach the doctrine to the faith, per your job responsibility to teach the
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doctrine of the faith we think you are minister. >> is in a religious teacher a minister under your theory so there may be teachers in religious schools that teach religious subjects, not mathematics. better not commissioned of and in a way as ministers? are they ministers? >> if you are ordained or commissions, if you teach the religion class, teach an entire class on religion, we think you want ought to be within this. >> i thought that it was part of -- it was agreed that there is no facts dispute that what she did, her duties at the school, did not change from when she whencee is a contract teacher and therefore not a minister and then she takes courses and is qualified to become a minister but when she is -- what she is doing at the school is the very same thing and i thought that was the basis for the decision
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that we are reviewing. that there was no difference at all and what she did before she was commissioned and after she was commissioned. >> that is what the sixth circuit said. i don't think that changes the nature of the functions that are being performed but what is relative is they neglected, these noncommissioned, these teachers who were noncommissioned ministers, that lay and contract teachers were felons only when no call teacher was available. perry identifies one person for when you're. >> you are isolating one parish but there was something in one of the briefs that said the majority of the teachers and the lutheran schools, let's see where it was. i think it was --
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>> justice ginsburg i had the same impression, whether you are commissioned or not commission doesn't necessarily mean you can't teach a religious class. and again, that is something that can be heard. you don't even want to hear it. >> it is not uncommon even with ordained ministers, it it is not uncommon for protestants to recognize and ordination from a different -- is similar so when they can't find a minister to cover a class and they hire another question from another conservative protestant denomination they say you are required to teach your. >> i'm sorry, going to the question that justice kagan asked you, if one of these protestant teachers that is not lutheran led the cafeteria prayer as they are required to, you are now saying that the law must recognize that lay teacher as a minister?
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and apply the ministerial exception even though the religion doesn't consider her a minister? >> i did not say that. >> that was the answer you gave, that she taught a religious class. >> she teaches a religion class. 's been what is her tradition has minister. that is what we need to find out. so it's not a title. it is really, the only function you say is someone that teaches religion? >> i think if you teach the religious class you are clearly a minister but if you hold an ecclesiastical office that makes this very easy. >> okay, but you are saying you would be here anyway even if she hadn't been ordained, right? >> that's correct. >> so what is your take, what is your reaction to a less dramatic kind of posing? suppose we were to say, the chip is the particular individual here does have some religious obligations in teaching and
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quite a lot, so she is sort of on the edge. at the same time there is a statute, which whether it applies or not he you could take the principle that says a religious organization like your client may require that she conform to the religious tenets of the organization. the congress focused on this and the district court looks at it and suppose it were to decide, that's true, but there is no evidence here at all that religious tenants had anything to do with her being dismissed. no one mentioned them, she didn't know about them. i didn't until i read the very excellent brief filed by the lutherans that explained the nature of taking civil suits. no one said that to her. whether it was in someone's mind or not. she found out on motion for summary judgment so therefore this was an effort by the religious organization to express its tenants. she was dismissed.
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she could -- they could've had a defense but it does not apply and therefore even though she is sort of like a minister, she loses. what are your objections to that? >> well my first objection is i don't think those are remotely the facts here. you know, this teaching is clearly stated come embodied in the dispute resolution process. you don't ask anyone. >> has anyone mentioned that to her? i can't find it. can you tell me where someone did say the reason we are dismissing it was because of our religious doctrines that you cannot wring civil suit? >> page 55 and the joint appendix which is the letter where they tell her that they are going to recommend rescission in her call. they say, because of insubordination because you threatened to sue us. >> did anyone explain to her, which he might not have known,
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that this is a religious doctrine that you're supposed to go to sign on and you're not supposed to go to court? they wanted to fire her because she threatened to sue them. but i am wondering, is there anywhere before the motion for summary judgment where someone explains to her, our motivation here is due to our religious tenant. >> you don't assess the importance of a doctrine by asking the person. >> no, no, i understand that but the people who were involved with this were doing it for religious rather than civil reasons. i am just wondering what the evidence is, that they knew there was such a doctrine, that if they were motivated by the religious doctrine and that they express that to her. i will look at page 55. is there anything else i should look at? >> one of the objections, this is a rule that is going to bind the teachers than you would
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expect to find it in the handbook but the handbook doesn't tell her, if you complain to the eeoc about discrimination, then you will be fired. >> i don't don't know if it does or doesn't because the handbook is not in the record except for a short expert -- excerpts but she knew about this rule. >> i'm just wondering is there anything else you want me to read besides page 55? >> the minute she said she might sue i said you can't do that, you are a called teacher. the board talk about it at their meeting on october 22 i think that is in the principals deposition. the present of the congregation who did not -- said it was one of the first things that he thought about. she was a lifelong lutheran and worked 11 years. >> mr. laycock doesn't this
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inquiry, illustrate the problems that will necessarily occur if you hit into the pretext analysis? the question of what she told that she had violated the churches teaching about suing in a civil tribunal? >> well that depends on the significance. >> let's assume she wasn't told. >> the significance of that depends on how central the teaching of lutheranism is. suppose a catholic priest got married and the bishop said i'm removing you from your parish because of your conduct or good they wouldn't be much question about why that was done so what did martin luther actually say about suing the church where other christians in the civil tribunal. is this really a central tenant of lutherans? >> is not the problem with going into this pretext analysis? >> that's just part of the
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problem. you have to figure how does this doctrine were, how important is it and how does apply to it apply to the facts of the case? >> mr. laycock, to dispel the notion that nothing is submitted in your reply brief you say that there are many suits that could be brought that would not be inappropriate and i think it's on page 20 of your reply brief, but i don't understand how those would work if the policy is you are a minister. if you have problems with the church or a co-worker, we have our own dispute resolution and you don't go outside. you say arising from unsafe working conditions. suppose one of these -- said i
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think there are unsafe working conditions and i'm going to complain to the occupational health and safety agency. wouldn't she get the same answer? this has to be solved in house. you don't go to an h. and c. of the state. i don't follow why the tort claim based on unsafe working conditions would not fall under the same as keeping dispute in-house? >> well it may or may not. the rule in internal dispute resolution is most -- most emphatic and clearly stated in disputes and a tort claim may not be a dispute. >> i thought the reason she was unfit for the ministry was that she went outside so in these cases when you go outside of the church and you go to the
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government, then you have -- see what we say in the reply brief that you are looking at is the legal doctrine, the ministerial exception as a matter of law does not apply unless the dispute is over whether i get the job back, job qualifications, job performance or rules of ministry. >> but she could be, any of these things. she could be disciplined, fired or she complained outside of the house. >> she could he and the tort claim would proceed and -- and the retaliation claim should not proceed. >> the tort claim should receipt and then she would get damages and that would be alright? >> she would get damages for the tort and she would not get damages for the loss of -- >> did i understand you before
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in response to justice sotomayor and justice scalia that even if you were merely a contract teacher the fact that she teaches religion classes would be enough for her to qualify for the exception? >> yes. the fact that she is a minister is the clincher in this case. >> i think you answered, if she were not a commissioned minister, she is teaching the faith, therefore she can be fired and it doesn't matter whether she is commissioned so the commission is irrelevant. it is her job duty. >> the commission is not irrelevant. it is contrary. >> certainly for some purposes, if every teacher who teaches religion and math and a lot of other things said, i am a
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minister and i am entitled to allowance on my income tax return, certainly that is something that the government agent would review. >> they do review it there. i don't think lutherans have a problem with iris but that is a context where they review these questions. if you would reserve if you've minutes for rebuttal i would be grateful. >> you me. >> mr. chief justice me it please the court? the freedom of religious communities to come together to express and share religious belief as a fundamental constitutional right. it's a right that also accommodates important governmental interest in securing the public welfare. congress does not -- has not -- freedom in this case by making it illegal for to two fire a
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fourth-grade teacher in retaliation for asserting her statutory right or custody is the position of the united states that there is a ministerial exception or that there is not a ministerial exception? >> mr. chief justice if the serial is understood the adjudication of disputes between certain employees and their employers, we agree that first amendment doctrine. >> nothing to do with respect to ministers. in other words is very ministerial exception distinct from the right of association under the first amendment? >> we think that the ministerial exception is one that incorporates the right of association as well as the rights under the religion clause. >> is there anything special about the fact that the people involved in this case are part of a religious organization? >> we think that the analysis is one that the court has elaborated in other cases involving similar claims to autonomy, non-interference.
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>> you say is similar to other cases. a group of people who are interested in labor rights having expressive association. is the issue we are talking about here in the view of the united states any different than any other group of people who get together for an expressive bright? >> speaking of the basic contours are not different. we think how the inquiry plays out in particular cases may be. >> but its it's exclusion and -- extraordinary. it's extraordinary we are talking about the free exercise clause and about the establishment clause and you say they have no special application? >> but the inquiry that the court has set out in the expressive association translate quite well to analyzing the claim that petitioner has made here and for this reason we don't think that the job duties of a particular religious employee in an organization are irrelevant. >> there is nothing in in the constitution that explicitly prohibits the government from
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mucking around in the labor organization. now, yes you can buy an extension of first amendment rights derive such, but there are, in the text of the constitution are special protections for religion and you say that makes no difference? >> if i may i don't understand petitioners rule. the first half of this argument you have disputed this basic.which is the contours of the first amendment doctrine will depend on the balancing of interest. that is the only way i think the petitioner can differentiate a generally neutral applicable application of antidiscrimination law with respect to the choice of those who would govern it and the church's retaliation against a teacher who would report child abuse to the board. >> i think the balancing of interests is different from the petitioner. and one of the interest is religion and you are just denying that. you said we balance religion the way we balance labor
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organizations. that is certainly not with the petitioner is saying. >> the core of the inside of ministerial exception that was originally conceived is, they're a certain relationships within a religious community that are so fundamental, so private and ecclesiastical in nature that it will take an extraordinarily compelling governmental and just to justify interference. ..
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>> it's preventing religious employers like any other employers from punishing employees for threatening to bring illegal conduct -- >> suppose you have a religion, go to the sinai, not the court. would that not be protected by the first amendment? your view it's not protected? >> it's not protected. i think there's two responses relevant to how the court would resolve that question in this case. first of all, if the court were to accept the rule that the petitioner would ask it to adopt, we'd never ask the question whether or not the church that has a reason for firing an employee rooted in religious doctrine. the hires and firing decisions
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with respect to proke yal school -- parochial schoolteachers and priests is off limits, and that's intensative to the relative and public interests at stake, interests this court repeatedly recognized are important in determining -- >> they want to choose the priest, you could go to the catholic church? i mean, you couldn't say that. that's obvious. how are you distinguishing this? >> right. we think both the private and public interests are very different in the two scenarios. the government's interest in eradicating discrimination in the workplace is not sufficient enough to justify the way the catholic church chooses priests rooted in gender rules, but the doctrine, and the interests, in this case, are different. the government has a compelling and overriding interest in ensuring individuals are not prevented from coming to the government -- >> when you say that, are you not implicitly making a judgment
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about the relative importance of the catholic doctrine that only males can be ordained and the lutheran should not sue the church in civil courts. i can't reconcile your position on those two issues without coming to the conclusion you think the catholic dock run is older, stronger, and entitled to more respect than the lutheran doctrine. >> we're not drawing distinctions between the importance of a particular religious tenant in a system of religious beliefs, but the difference is the government has indeed foundational interests in ensuring as a matter of preserving the integrity of the rules of law that individuals are not punished -- >> going to court is the more fundamental interest nan a woman obtaining the job that she wants, which happens, in this case, to be a catholic priest. that's the distinction you are making? >> i am --
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>> i don't know why that doesn't -- i mean, you may be right, but it's not obvious to me that the one is the more important than the other. >> the government's interest in presenting retaliation against those who would go to civil authorities with civil wrongs is foundational to the rule of law. >> if i could clarify for a second there now because you are sounding like you want to draw a sharp line between retaliation and substantive claims. i didn't get that from your brief. is that, in fact, what you're saying? >> i think there's a distinction to be made from the government's interest and the workplace, and ensuring individuals are not chilled from coming to civil authorities with reports about civil wrongs, but if i could continue, i think -- >> are you willing to accept the exception for claims, just not for retaliation claims? >> that's not the only two important, and if i could
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continue -- >> i'm sorry, but i think that question can be answered yes or no. >> i think that that -- i think the answer is no in part because that doesn't fully account for all the public and private interests at stake. the government interest, in this case, extends beyond the fact this is retaliation to the fact this is not a church operating internally to prom -- promulgate and express beliefs. it's a church that's opening its doors to the public to provide a socially beneficial service of educating children in compliance with state compulsory education laws, and the court recognized in cases like bob jones that church operated schools sit in a different position with respect to the permissible scope of governmental regulations. >> with respect to the religion and theology classes? that's extraordinary. just because you have to comply with state education
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requirements on secular subjects, who you pick to teach theology or teach religion has to be subject to state control? >> just to be clear, the government's interest in this case is not in dictating to the church operated schools who it may choose to teach religion classes and who it may not, it's one thing and one thing only, which is to tell the school it may not punish employees for threatening to report civil wrongs to civil authorities 6789 that's an interest we think overrides the burden on the associations' religious message about the virtues of internal dispute resolution opposed to courtroom -- >> yoir making a judgment how important a particular religious belief is to a church. you're saying -- this may be the same question just asked, but you're saying we don't believe the lutheran church when it says this is a central and important tenant of our chief. >> no, absolutely not, chief
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justice. we do not dispute. we assume it's validity and they are sincere in that belief, but in the united states versus lee, sincere religious belief was not sufficient to exempt tax laws, and bob jones -- >> on the other hand, the belief of the catholic church that preciouses should be male only, you do defer to that even if the lutherans say, look, our dispute resolution belief is just as important to a lutheran as the all-male clergy is to a catholic. >> yes, but that's because the balance of relative public and private interests is different in each case. >> do you believe, ms. kruger, a a church has a right that's grounded in the free exercise clause or the establishment clause to institutional atonmy with respect to its employees? >> we don't see that line of
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church atonmy principles and jurisprudence as such. >> back to the question, i, too, find that amazing, that you think neither the free exercise clause nor the establishment clause has anything to say about a church's relationship with its own employees. >> we think this is one the cases that employment division versus smith may have been referring to referring to claims reenforced by free exercise concerns. it's certainly true that the association claims atonmy in this case is one that's deeply rooted and concerns about how it exercises its religion, those two things merge in some ways in that respect. >> i don't think they merge at all. smith didn't involve employment by a church. it had nothing to do with who the church could employee. i don't see how that has any relevance to this.
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i would -- i didn't understand your answer to the chief justice's question. you say there's different institute nag values or government values involved with respect to a catholic priest than there has with respect to the lutheran minister. let's assume a catholic priest is removed from his duties because he was married, okay, and he claims, no, that's not the real reason. the real reason is because i threatened to sue the church. okay? that reason is just pretext. would you allow the government to go into the dismissal of the catholic priest to see whether indeed it was pretext? >> i think the answer is no -- >> why? why is that any different from the lutheran minister? >> look at the burdens on
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association under the balancing testament i think that the core of the understanding of the administer conception, is there's a fundmental difference between governmental regulation that operates to interfere with the relationship between the church and those who govern it, those who preach the word to the congregations, those who administer sack rims, and the more public relationship between the church and schoolteachers and others who -- >> that's nothing different than what the chief justice suggested that you think one is more important to catholics than the other is to lutherans. >> i don't think it's a question of the importance of either function to the religious association. it's a question of the realm of permissible -- >> then you have to say it's more important to let people to go to court to sue about sex discrimination than it is for a woman to get a job. i can't say that one way or the other, so i'm stuck, and since
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i'm really sort of stuff, and i'm stuck on this, i don't see how you avoid going into religion to some degree. you have to decide if it's a minister, for example, and what kind, and that gets you involved, and if you're not going to do that, you're going to go look to see what are the religious tenants, and that gets you right involved. i just don't see a way of getting out -- i don't see how to do it. suppose you said in the case of doubt like that, we'll try what congress suggested, and now we have your borderline case of ministry, not the heartland case. where you have a borderline case, the constitutional issue goes away, and what congress said is okay, so now what you have to prove is you have to prove that the church has to show that the applicant, who is disciplined or whatever, bus -- because she didn't conform to
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the religious tenants, and that's what they have to show. it may just be a prima facie case, but they have to show it, and if there's not some evidence to that effect that somebody knew about the religious tenant and there's something like that, and maybe it's obvious, but where it's not, you have to make a showing. now, i see that as an interference, but i don't see how you avoid interference one place or another, otherwise you get into who is a minister, so what's the answer to the dilemma? at the moment, i'm making an argument for following what congress said, go back and try it that way, and if they can show in this case and she shows in this case nobody thought of this tenant, nobody told me, and they didn't read it, and then she's going to win. if they show they did this because of the religious tenant, they'll win. what about that? >> justice breyer, i think that's a perfectly appropriate way to come at this case,
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although it skips over the initial inquiry which is into whether or not the application of the regulation to the particular employment relationship results in an unwarranted interference. >> it has the virtue of deciding a statutory question before a tough constitutional question, and i agree with what we sometimes do, that that seems bizarre, but i thought that was the basic rule. >> i think that's absolutely right, and the next question is with respect to adjudicating a particular case and whether deciding the case requires the court to decide disputed matters of religious doctrine or second guess -- >> if the plaintiff perceived it that way, would she be entitled -- i assume she would -- introduce testimony by experts of lutheran, theologians of religion about this tenant,
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and they might say, well, it's not that strong, and it once was, but it's faded, and it's not widely enforced, and then you have experts on the other side, you you'd have a court an a lay jury deciding how important this really is to lutherans. is that how that would play out? >> no. >> how do you avoid that? i just don't see it. >> any inquiry into the validity of the religious doctrine is irrelevant to the adjudication. >> it's not ire religious belief lant. i've -- irrelevant, and i've seen cases, and one of the central issues is whether the reason that was coffered by the employer is the real reason, an important reason for that employer and when they think it's important and whether they apply it across the board. that's almost always a big part of the case, and once you're into that, you get into questions of religious doctrine. i just don't see it.
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here's an example of a real case. a none wanted to be -- a nun wanted a tenure position teaching catholic law at the university, and she was denied tenure because of her gender. now, there, the university might argue, she's denied because of the quality of her scholarship. okay. now, if you try that pretexted issue, the issue is going to be what is the real quality of her cannon law scholarship? you'll have the judge and jury decide whether this particular writings on cannon law are making contribution to cannon law scholarship? how can something like that be tried without getting into religious issues? >> if the only way that the plaintiff has to show that that may not have been the employer's real reason was a subjective judgment about the quality of cannon law scholarship, the judgment has to be entered for the employer because the plaintiff has no viable way consistent with the
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establishment clause of demonstrating that's not the employer's real reason. if, on the other hand, the plaintiff has evidence that no one ever raised any objections to the quality of her scholarship, but they raised objections to women serving in certain roles in the school and those roles were not ones that were required to be filled by persons of a particular gender consistent with religious belief, then that's a case in which a judge can instruct a jury that its job is not to inquire to the validity to the subjective judgment like juries are often instructed that their job is not to determine whether an employer's business judgment was fair or correct, but only whether the employer was motivated by discrimination or retaliation. >> thank you, ms. kruger. >> mr. chief justice, may it -- >> can you assume -- i'm sorry.
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[laughter] could you assume for me this -- >> ms. justice kagan -- [laughter] >> i feel like i missed something. [laughter] can you assume there's exception founded in the religion clauses, and tell me who counts as a minister and why this commissioned minister does not count as a minister. >> i believe that there is an exemption grounded in the religion clauses. it means that religious organizations will prevail in many cases in which a comparable civil organization would not prevail. i don't think it makes sense to approach it in a categorical way of asking -- >> i'm asking you to assume with me for a moment that there's a categorical exception, and to tell me who you think counts as
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a minister, and why the woman in this case does not? >> well, in our view, if that was the test, then we would say the court of appeals was correct in holding that she was not a minister, and the reason -- the principle reason is she carries out such important secular functions in addition to her religious duties -- >> sorry to interrupt you, but that can't be the test. the pope is the head of state carrying out secular functions; right? [laughter] those are important. he's not a minister? >> chief justice roberts, i do not want to suggest it's a very good approach to decide who is a minister and who is not a minister. that's what's wrong with professor's categorical approach because it's both over and under inclusive and sweeps in cases where there's, in fact, no religious reason offeredded -- >> it's only that if we adopt your test. why isn't a perfectly reasonable test where the person, although the person may have a lot of suck cue lar duties, where the
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-- secular duties, whether the person has substantial religious responsibilities? >> and the reason that's not a satisfactory test is it fails to take account of the important governmental interests. for example, in this case, in having everyone have access to the courts -- >> that's not the problem. the problem, it seems to me, is i don't know how substantial these interests are religiously. i don't know how substantial the religious itself considers what they do from a religious perspective, so let's go back to justice alito's problem and now on the administer issue, we call the sinais, how certain was it, how central to the heart of the religion, what they are actually doing, and we replicate what he said with respect to the problem of religious tenant now with respect to the religion minister, and now maybe you can
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say it's not one or the other, but i've had enough in the cases in the lower courts to know they are really hard, people believe really different things, and there's no way to avoid going into one or the other, and therefore rather than trying the constitutional matter, do what congress suggested. >> that's the state of the argument you are walking into, i think. >> if we go to congress, congress made it clear how this case should be resolved because congress did not apply the religious exemptions of the ada to retaliate -- >> no, i don't agree with that. i think what it says is a religious organization may require that all applicants and employees conform to the religious tenants, that's in the section defining defenses, and the defenses are part of the right, and when it forbids retaliation, it says forbids retaliation against the individual of the exercise of any right. granted, and therefore, i don't believe a person who failed to
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violate the substantive section could be held up normally. i mean, -- >> i can -- >> i think it's pretty easy to read that exception even though it's in a different sub chapter into the retaliation exceptions. assume for me that that's so. >> it is still the case that it's a constitutional matter. the state's interest in allowing citizens to have access to its courts and to its agencies is paramount. in cases like child abuse, reporting of school safety problems and others, in this case, it's we are -- >> it's not paramount with -- take the firing of the catholic priest example, does that get into the courts? >> no, it doesn't -- >> why not? >> that points out, justice schee la, there's -- scalia there's ample doctrines. one is under the establishment klaus, there's no -- establishment clause, there's no
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reinstatement in that position, and another is that -- >> but he can for money; right? >> i don't believe he can be reinstated to get damages from removal -- >> he can sue for money, you know, the loss -- >> i think in this case it's likely to fail because you run into issues of religious doctrine or evaluations of distipghtly religious matters, and those doctrines still stand. the problem with the categorical exception is it sleeps in cases like this one where the well pleaded case says i was dismissed from employment because i said i was going to make a report to the eeoc, and she's not seeking reinstatement, but just wants the economic loss. >> back to the example of the cannon law professor because i still don't see how the approach that this solicitor general is
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recognizes is recommending can eliminate the problems involved in pretext, so the -- as understood her answer, it was that you couldn't look into the question of whether the professor's cannon law scholarship was really good cannon law scholarship, but you could try the issue of sex discrimination based on other evidence, so maybe there's stray remarks here and there about a woman teaching cannon law. now, a response to that might be that was not the real reason, and 23 you just look at the scholarship, and you see how misrabble it is and how inconsistent it is with church dock run, you can see that's the real reason. you just cannot get away from evaluating religious issues. >> this is not a problem that is unique to ministerial employees which is why this is both over and under inclusive. when you -- this is a circumstance in which an organization is going into the
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public arena providing a public service, and in that situation, it ought to be governed by the -- >> you said this case is not like smith, but under that, we know that the state could forbid the school from a religious school from using the ceremonies, but on a petitioner submission, they could fire any employee who reported that you reported to civil authorities, and then the employee has no recourse. under u.s. versus lee, an amish employer has to comply with the social security laws, but under their submission, the employee is fire without recourse any employee who called noncompliance to the attention of the eeoc. we believe that you can trust to congress on these hard areas where there needs to be additional accommodations. congress can make them just as justice scalia suggested.
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ministerial exemption has a ho long his -- a long history, but it does not apply to teachers in about every circuit. >> does it not have the enactment of americans with disabilities act? >> that is correct. >> shouldn't we assume that congress -- that congress assumed that it would continue to apply to the ada just as it applied to title vii? >> all the courts did not apply it sweepingly as the teachers, and we had this debate with justice breyer whether you can sigh they specifically excluded retaliation cases, but remember, that that doctrine emerged at a time when this court had a position that religious organizations could not participate in getting public funding. even when they were providing remedial services to low income service, we repudiated that doctrine, and where the courts said that you're entitled to participate in providing public
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services on the same basis as all other organizations. that means you should comply with the same rules. when you leave it and go into the public arena -- >> do lutheran schools and catholic parochial sculles share -- schools share funds the way public schools do? >> no. >> you bet you they don't. what is the argument you're making? i don't understand. >> that we are no longer of the era, the division where we believe no governmental rules or involvement can be had with these public institutions. >> don't tell me that fair is fair, that know it's just like everybody else. that's not true. >> it's that we recognized in your opinion in smith and justice kennedy's opinion, the value of neutrality where you have doctrines if we recognize you do not second guess religious doctrine. you do not, under the establishment clause introduce
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someone into office, and you do a balancing test to make sure that there's a sufficient governmental interest if you're going to under cut an organization's ability to convey its views. thank you. >> thank you. two minutes. >> two or three points briefly. the many distinctions in their argument shows the mess you'll be in if you decide these cases, and we may that problem with the margin, but many, many cases are easy. the priest, the rabbi, the bishop, the pastor cannot sue -- >> i'm not sure why the status of the individual matters under your theory. it seems to me what you say as long as as a religious organization gives a religious reason of any kind, genuine or not, the firing of someone associated with it, whether minister or not, that that
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invokes the exception? am i hearing your argument right? >> no. >> so why is there a difference? >> the position of minister is categorically special because that is committed to the separation of church and state. you may have religious questions when they dismiss the janitor, but it's not remotely the same -- >> you would say with janitors you can get into the pretext question? >> the pretext question, yes. >> you're limiting your test to whether that person is a minister, so define minister for me again. >> a minister is a person who hold office in the church or who exercises important religious functions most obviously including teaching of the faith. >> mr. laycock, there were points here about the way in which the ministerial exception relates or doesn't relate to employment division in smith. in order to make an argument to the ministerial exception, you
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almost have to say that constitutional atonmy is different from the congress, and we said in smith, state can trump, and you want us to say they can't trump constitutional atonmy. why is that? >> it's not that institutions are different from individuals, but that the individual governs of the church are a prior step. myth is about whether people can act on the teachings whether they are formulated, and it's about the process by which the religious teaching will be formulated. >> might not the establishment clause have something to do with it that applies to institutions and individuals? >> this court relied on both free exercise and establishment, and there's a long line the cases all the way back to watson establishing this problem from the problem that culminates in smith.
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>> thank you, counsel. counsel, the case is submitted.
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♪ >> this week on q and a, photographer, carol highsmith takes us on a tour across america with her collections, and we see the library of
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congress, and some of the photos are featured in c-span's originally documentary, "the library of congress" premiering monday, july 18th, at 8 p.m. eastern. c-span: when did you become interested in being a photographer? >> guest: well, it's kind of a fascinating story. i was actually in the broadcasting field, and the hotel was going to be restored, and actually it was kind of a mess, a state of disarray, and i asked the man who was going to restore it if i could go in there on the weekend and take photographs. i thought it would be fascinating. i did, i went it, and it was just me and the guard, and rats this size -- c-span: what year is it? >> guest: 1980. i maybe spent a couple years -- it was fascinating, got
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wonderful photographs. c-span: it was not a hotel then? >> guest: just a trash can place, in shambles, and hard to believe a block from the white house we let such a grand hotel go to disarray, so, anyway, i went in and spent time in there learning all about photography. i was in a another field, and one day, the restorer of the willard hotel say they don't have any drawings, and i'm using about 20 photographs from a woman by the name of francis benjamin johnson who came in here in 1901 and took interior photographs. would you like to see them at the library of congress? i thought, oh, yes, that would be fascinating. i went over there, and i thought, oh, my lord, these are wonderful, and that's what they used to restore the willard, and i thought that is amazing. i thought, if in that amount of
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time she came in in 1901, and i came in 1980, 79 years, something as grand as this hotel was where abraham lincoln watched histic august rail and presidents stayed a block from the white house had fallen into such disrepeer, what could happen in my lifetime? i was hooked, and that's what i wanted to go into the the other little piece of it is i thought maybe i should record my lifetime, everything, everything in america, so the other piece is we had just gone through the concrete era where they built the fbi building and others like it, and nixon actually wanted to rip down all the iconic historic structures on pennsylvania avenue and just make it all concrete. i thought, oh, my lord, maybe what i could do is if i took photographs, people could see it
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before it left this earth, and that was it. i was hooked. i went to the -- there was a kind of a quasi-governmental agency called pennsylvania avenue development corporation set up after john kennedy wrote his inaugural, and he saw other buildings that were shambles on pennsylvania avenue, and he was just, you know, at that point, he said to some people around him, we need to do something. this is america's main street, so i went to pennsylvania avenue development corporation, and i made a deal they couldn't refuse saying you get me in places like doing this, and i'll photograph all of it. i spent 17 years photographing all the rebuilding on pennsylvania avenue. c-span: i want to go to a project you're working on and start showing some of your photos.
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>> guest: okay. c-span: we can catch up how, and you can talk us through. first one is in alabama. why were you in alabama? >> >> guest: so i have a 30-year relationship with the library of congress, and they have been kind enough out of 14 million images to put me in the top six collections. last year, i was honored by a man by the name of george who funded me to go to the state of alabama as the first in a series of going all over the united states, to all the states, and photograph this beautiful, amazing state of alabama, so i spent all last summer, and, you know, you see all sorts of things here from the shrimp boats to historic structures to way out there, you know, everything about this beautiful state is just, in my estimation, makes me driewl.
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some of it i did on black and white cameras, others i did -- look at the beautiful flower gardens, the cemeteries, and i have traveled the united states for 30 year, and i i know it well, but i had not spent that much time in alabama, so when i went down to alabama, i thought, oh, dear, i hope i don't have trouble showcasing this, and i fell in love. to me, i mean, look how beautiful the historic structures are, the antebellum homes, the churches, and there's a white beautiful painted church on about every corner. c-span: how long were you in the state of alabama? >> guest: for four months, driving 20,000 miles by myself. c-span: what is the purpose of this? this is the first stop of how many states? >> guest: okay. i have been photographing in the united states for 30 years, and i plan to give all my images,
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copyright free to the library of congress, which i said 30 years ago, i'd do, following in the footsteps of francis johnson. c-span: why for free? >> guest: well, if i'm going to do it, why at the at the tether to them. c-span: who is that? >> guest: that's a potter. c-span: you have a website? >> guest: i thought when i was there, this is about 21st century america. i thought what i'd do is pop these up into a website calling it 21st century alabama so they can see what i'm doing as i go instead of waiting for them for a few months to get on the library of congress website. c-span: how many photos did you take? >> guest: about 5,000, actually, it was more 20,000, and 5,000 that i consider good. c-span: film or digital? >> guest: i'm on digital now. i used to work film, but once
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digital was high resolution enough, i said, okay, that's it. i dragged the library of congress with me, and now they are solidly on board. they expect my collection to grow to the largest photographic digital collection in the library of congress. c-span: who pays for your time? >> guest: i was funded by a man named george, and he happened to love the state, and he funded me to go down there, and then all the images are given copyright free. he ended up doing a coffee table book, but we are just now seeking a corporate sponsor for me o to carry on throughout the whole united states. i'm linked to the national park service, the national trust, and, of course, the library of congress, so that i think for a corporate sponsor, it would be a very special sponsorship. c-span: what would that cost?
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>> guest: we are seeking $375,000-$500,000 a year for me to go out across the america. it would be probably gone about eight monteses of the year, and i would probably take about 10,000 or 12,000 good photographs, probably take more like 30,000 photographs. c-span: you say copyright free, and are the alabama shots already available? >> guest: anybody can use them anywhere. that's the point. really what i'm trying to do is -- let me say this, okay, you know that film is almost gone, okay? i have a whole old darkroom full of four by five film shot over the last 30 year, and about 25 years, you have problems getting film scanned, okay? we now are taking digital images. there's probably billions of images taken every day. the problem is what happens when digital goes away?
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what i'm doing is i'm taking these high resolution digital images. they are not cell phone images. that's a lot of what is being taken, and they are donated copy right free so that we can tuck them away and see what america looked like at the turn of the 21st century so that say the wonderful thing about the wonderful about the library of congress, they would be readable 100 years from now and they'll go into the archives. they will be talked away. there's no end date on them. they will not just go away like the majority of images will. c-span: where's the next stop? >> guest: well, i still have another grab that may come down for alabama. the library of congress called the other day, believe it or not, and they want me to do libraries all over the united states. i worked for general services administration, the largest building owner in america,
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photographing historic courthouses and their art, so i'm just waiting for all of my lists to come down for all of that, and so that's it for the moment while we look for a corporate sponsor to pick up the rest of the united states, and it will probably take me 10-15 years. c-span: i was going to ask you that. it's a good question. >> guest: i figure i'll cover the entire united states every five years, three to five years, and i'll follow the weather most likely. i go out with lists miles long from the national park service and the preservation, and whoever else joins. the sponsor may have a few that they want. i really have -- there is no dictate. i'm interested in all of it, but let me tell you something. america's 85% rural, so i don't necessarily -- i'm not really interested in flying from washington, d.c. to san fransisco. i'm interested like i've done for 100,000 years, driving from washington, d.c. to san
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fransisco and getting all the small little towns along the way, in the rural areas, the region, and it's all fascinating to me. c-span: where's the cadillac from? >> guest: that is hank -- c-span: williams? >> guest: yes. that's the car he lived and died in. c-span: at 29 years old. >> guest: you got it. there he was, done in montgomery, alabama, and there's a little hank williams museum, and, of course, i fell in love with it and love country music anyway, and it was so fascinating to go there and know that hank died in that car. i went to his grave, got worked up about it, and then, of course, the other thing about alabama -- now, during my youth was this whole civil rights movement. i knew it had gone on in the south because all my relatives are from the south, and i spent a lot of time in the south, although i grew up in minneapolis.
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while, i get down to alabama, and i realize it's thee place where it happened, that that was martin luther king's church, by the way, and i got, of course, all whipped into that everywhere. i went to the march, and everywhere i could find c-span: where were you born? >> guest: north carolina. c-span: where? >> guest: not to far away from -- [inaudible] i spent my summers with my granny's -- c-span: what part of the state? >> guest: near greensboro. that's granny, and grandmother lived in atlanta, and she knew personally margaret mitchell who wrote "gone with the wind," and i went to the opera with her. i was a little tomboy, and then i went to granny's house, and i'd be, you know, be able to run around and be all the things i wanted to be. i saw both worlds. fascinating. c-span: you went to school in iowa? >> guest: i won't to school in iowa, that's right. c-span: at the university?
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>> guest: no, believe it or not, there's a parson's college then. it's not the parson's college of design, but i was not interested in school, but i went, and then i got married, moved to new york city, and i started working in broadcasting, and i worked in broadcasting, sales and markets for years, and one day a client of mine, i was going to russia, i won a contest, and a client gave me a camera. c-span: what kind of a camera? >> guest: the simplest little camera called a pintexk1,000, probably cost $20. it took wonderful photographs. everything there in the 70s was wonderful. c-span: who taught you photography? >> guest: i taught myself in the willard hotel. but then i took classes at night.
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c-span: how important has this been in your life? >> guest: my all and everything as far as photography it concerned because she left -- during her lifetime, she decided to donate her images copy right free to the library of congress, and that became the cornerstone of the prints and photograph division. c-span: here's a picture of her. >> guest: that was taken -- that photograph of francis binge min johnson was taken at her studio on 13th and u, near 13th and u, and her house has been torn down, but i see all the houses around where she lived, and so i know what she looked at when she road downtown. she work in the hotel, photographed various presidential administrations and presidents, and she was a bohemian, a wild person, but what i admire about her, is in her lifetime, she put together this collection.
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c-span: how many photographs of hers are in the library of congress? >> guest: probably oh, maybe 20,000 to 40,000. c-span: there's a photograph of you at the willard, and whattier was that? >> guest: 1980. i said, just like francis, i want a photograph of myself that i've taken that's a self-portrait like the one she took in front of her fireplace in her studio. i wanted the same thing, that recorded me at the sometime -- same time she would have been recorded. c-span: we have a photograph of roosevelt's son on a horse, there's one of teddy roosevelt, himself, on the horse. >> guest: there's a fascinating story. i photograph presidential collections also, okay? for the national park service, i photographed the same photograph, the same outfit he has on, i photographed the outfit. c-span: where was it? >> guest: at his home at long
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island. c-span: there's another photograph here of the hotel in the early days. >> guest: that was taken by francis, and that was the palm court, and that's why it's so important to take photographs especially architect photographs, but because that's gone, the only way we know what that looked like or that it existed is because she photographed it. that, to me, that said it all. i said if0r
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>> guest: i wouldn't say too many. there's a lot of people that know the country, and i'm sure there's many america files if you want to call them that, but what makes me unique is the fact i've been to so many small, small, small places. sometimes my work, i did books for randomhouse for years and years, and my work takes me there, but sometimes my curiosity like doing all of
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route 66. of course, it's big, and of course we'd do route 66. i'm interested in disappearing america, an america that may not be here 25 years from now. i want to catch all of that because america has a look to it that is fascinating to me, and it's a look that i want to capture because we're a young country, am i correct? in comparison to the rest of the world, we're young. now it is -- it's a very good time. there's the city of the dead in new orleans. i do a lot of what i call black and white infrared. there's one on route 66 in arizona. old cars along route 66 ment this is fun. this is america way out there. c-span: how long did you spend on route 66? >> guest: oh, i've been pecking at it for years. this is an old town that just closed up.
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fascinating. i stopped in nebraska, route 66, ace look at that great car. c-span: what happened to rural america since you've been photographing it? >> guest: well, what is happening, unfortunately ring our barns are decaying and fall apart, and then we get metal barns, so wooden barns i take a lot of time photographing them. that's the back of camden, nurngz, what we just -- new jersey, what we just saw there. that's an old barn, and that's baltimore, believe it or not. you see -- i love to go, like even to a big city and do all the normal stuff, and then go to what i colt back of town. this is an old jail in philadelphia. it's still there. it still looks like that. isn't that fascinating? i think maybe i would not have wanted to go to prison then. old neon signs. i love neon signs. i spend a lot of time in the back of las vegas down all the
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old motels. there's a wigwam hotel on route 66. c-span: that's an old stude baker, when was that taken? >> guest: that was taken, and we need to record these. there's 900 lighthouses, and i'm sorry, we have to put them in the can so we can have these. our lighthouses were amazingly important to america's history. i have to record them and put them away. this is an old candyman, an old candyman way gone, and the candyman down in new orleans. he's still there. c-span: do you try to get the stories from people when you are there about this? >> guest: i lot of times i do because congress is interested in the data base, too, so they want to know what is this? that's an old ruin in lexington, virginia. that's what is so phase nateing. i mean, america has a million
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sides to it. c-span: how do you, when you get out in the country, how do you keep track of everything? >> guest: well, the library of congress does not want me submitting a photograph that doesn't have data base to it. that keeps me honest. these days i use my ipad 2, put the number of the shot and exactly what it was or where it was, or i record on my ipod 2, i'm in job lin, missouri, or whatever issue and this is such and such, but i can't submit unless they know what it is so that i can tell the public what it is. c-span: here's a picture of skate borders. >> guest: that was in louisville, kentucky. isn't that fun? >> guest: what year was that? 20 # years ago. c-span: does this belong to youing? >> i don't know. i have 300,000 images now, and some are, and that's just a shot
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i took, and, oh, i think that was houston, texas, a thousand years ago, i mean, 20 years ago. new orleans -- c-span: you have to ask permission to take these? >> guest: yes, i usually get mono-release, and this is 5 relative of mine in the log cabin where my great grandfather and grandfather was born. that's a relative who was 90 years old at the time when i took that paragraph. i got the permission there. that was in rhode island, just a back place i went. i loved those kids, and she looked relaxed. c-span: do they say no? >> guest: occasionally, but the library of congress, and i don't necessarily need to, but i do, and the horses didn't give me trouble. this was in montana at a dude ranch. the oldest dude ranch in
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montana, maybe even in the united states. an old dude ranch. a great place, way out there. i ran up, and i saw clint black, oh, oh, i have to take a photograph. at that time, i had my four by five, this big old camera, and i ran up, and he said i'm in the middle of a song, once i finish, he i just got one shot. c-span: did he know who you were? >> guest: not a clue. i'm not trying to promote myself, but take images as fast as i can. that was in texas. this is in new orleans right up on those kids, no fun. this is in the district of new york, just shows you all the different sides that america -- i mean, this is in philadelphia, redding terminal markets. i sold over 50 books, and this
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is where i grew up. >> did i read that you did the books with your husband? >> guest: yes. c-span: what's his name? >> guest: ted, and he writes the america blog for voice of america. we are both fascinated by this country. what a great place. how lucky we are. c-span: are you under contract to the library of congress? >> guest: no. well, i mean, i'm doing libraries, and at that point, i'll be under contract, and the money swings through the library, but, no, i'm just married to the library of congress. you know, they put me at the top six. they have a karl m. high -- carol m. highsmith fund. we are joined at the hip in a lot of ways. i want to please them. i think it is thee place for the work to go. if i'm going to care that much to take good image, and i have a 30 years of experience, they --
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i think their worth giving to, and they think i'm worth holding hands with way out in colorado. c-span: look at the clouds in the sky. >> guest: that's the point, isn't it. c-span: do you have to wait for a day like that? >> guest: it's just when i'm out there. when you drive, that's when you see things. that's an old red barn in alabama. isn't that just fantastic? look at that, how beautiful that barn is. the green, green grass, obviously, that's the cactus out in arizona. c-span: what kind of a camera do you use for this? >> guest: several cameras. i have several. one is a phase one. it's very -- that's rock creek park, by the way, that's snow cane valley. i ran out there as far as i could with the snow on the trees. it's an iconic camera i photographed the library of congress with. it's 39 megapixels. that's in north carolina. it's a resort area, kind of a
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camp resort area in north carolina, gorgeous, isn't it, though? oh, man, we know where that is. c-span: and the phase one, is that a -- >> guest: it's the top of the line commercial equipment. c-span: what's it cost? >> guest: well, it just went from 39 megapixels to 80 megapixels, and that blows everything off the map. by the time i was finished, in the middle of going from the 39 to the 80, it will be $50,000 just for the back of it. want to see my camera? >> guest: -- c-span: i do. >> guest: i'm about ready to get the other phase one, but this is the infrared, dedicated to just black and white. i used to use the four by five camera, and now i use this flat, this -- this is one of my cameras an architect camera,
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allows me to do slings and tilts so i can get the buildings absolutely straight, and that's the key. it's gist beautiful shots. the shots are amazing. c-span: and that's the $50,000 piece of -- >> guest: this is a little less, but the one i'm about to get it $50,000 just for the back of it, not the other equipment. c-span: what's so expensive about it? >> guest: well, it's iconic. if you have a moment, go to the library of congress and go to the second floor and look at the kiosk, and you see the images get big, and they go into the art, and you will appreciate that quality that is just amazing. c-span: i've seen it. we got our producer, and this program is doing a dowmght reinstatement to be -- documentary to be shown soon about the library of congress, and we'll get to your photos in a moment, and people can go to your website. here's a windmill, where is this?
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>> guest: that's just out in texas, just -- c-span: can they see these on your website? >> guest: some of them. some at the library of congress, others not on yet, they will be all given to the lie brash of congress, but some, you know, i have a lot of scanning to do too. that's roosevelt island, glacier national park. there's no where i have not been. that's am mental anguish country. c-span: and the 21st century project? >> guest: i have done alabama as we know, and i put up 21 so you can see what i'm doing there, also, and some of these are on my website, and others are not.
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>> guest: the task is important. this is a building in minneapolis. let's see -- it's our mod earn art and architecture as well as -- that's an old barn out in oklahoma, a round barn. c-span: your skies are almost always perfect. >> guest: well, that's any job. my job is to showcase -- that's in new jersey -- to showcase our country that's already spectacular. look at it. even the little pieces are mag nighs sent, you know, and i need to -- that's also -- look at the wonderful colorful doors -- and
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so i like a lot of details. c-span: do you have so see these for yourselves or people say you have to do these photographing? why? >> guest: i did a book on the embassies, and this is one. well, i'm interested in -- and if you say i'm from kansas and i'm from such and sufficient, and i'd go there. that's frank lloyd wright in wisconsin, he designed that building, and it's gorgeous, isn't it? isn't it fun? c-span: what is that? >> guest: that's a walk way. c-span: into the building? >> guest: uh-huh. it's a walkway from one part of the building to the other. c-span: have you ever had a situation -- well, today, i mean, you -- aassume you shot film for years -- >> guest: thousands of images
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that need to be scanned yet and put into storage. c-span: did you have a time you had an image, got back, and it's not there? >> guest: interesting you should say that. i actually can't remember hardly anything because i shoot thousands of pieces of film, and i used polaroid to make sure, but it was nothing to buy $10,000 worth of advanced film before i left and trying to get the film through the scanners and the mess of it was just incredible. it really was. ..
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always at our best. there was a little town of shutdown. some of, you know, disappearing america truly disappeared. but, it is ours. it is american. but all i'm trying to do, and not every image and take is always the sunny side of the street. sometimes it is the other side of the street. that is moneyline valley, oh, my lord. >> host: how long did he spend? >> guest: and went back several times, and i could go forever. >> host: how often are you by yourself? >> guest: well, alabama was all by myself, to a dozen miles of myself. as war would never do that again , and i don't think i want to be away from to that law added. so usually ted is with me a lot,
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and probably will have an assistant. i that opening the window? the washington monument. they can't get those windows open anymore. that was a onetime thing. yea. so i've had that moment. >> host: what year did you take the ft. >> guest: prole 25 years ago. twenty-five years. >> host: that when the does not open. >> guest: that when the does not open. i don't think so. there would have a lot of trouble. i been up there many times. i went up. they have the scaffolding on. i went all the way around it. replicated historic views that have been taken 100 years ago. >> host: in a moment we will go to the department of justice for we have some photos. over the years when you worked for national geographic and gsa and all of that and random house college was the biggest, successful but the published?
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>> guest: i did a series of america. i would say that alone was very, very successful. very, financially for me and for them. >> guest: coffee table books? >> guest: coffee table books and sulfur variable to be you it could take of this. i became a publisher command of the . everybody on earth called me for images. that is amazing. so when i started in union station i went and documented. i went today unionization management. well, we are not publishers. i became a publisher. i published the book. so somehow i got it together to publish and princeton dozen copies of the book. i'm standing they're opening day at union station. the distributors such a, you know, you would not believe it.
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the publisher will be lucky if they sell five written books 10,000 copies in a tommy that. i sincerely 500 that day. >> host: the day union station opened. >> guest: i sold thousands. >> host: is that the book they still sell? >> guest: yes. yes. isn't that funny? >> guest: and -- >> guest: i did that but. in one week. one week prior to the memorial. he to have a book. but, we don't have time. we can't do it. one week later i had 20,000 copies of a book sitting there. were going to do a book.
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he said how much time do i have? i said, how does four hours -- i had to photograph the monument, get printed, bound. have it done. >> host: down? >> guest: as of cover. at the guess of six hours a week. >> host: here is a photograph from where? >> guest: that is the justice department. isn't that gorgeous? there is. two iconic statues. isn't that amazing? is in that is -- just gorgeous? i went and. i can't tell you all the names of every piece. i can tell you this hour story, america story and art and the
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study. they kept the hardest working during the very difficult times that these pieces of art on the library of congress website of about america. it's just, you know, a family having a picnic. the art is fantastic. >> host: now, people were taking -- paid to do this. was a very expensive? >> guest: i think the workers so much money. how many is ours. i don't know exactly what the deal was. look at how gorgeous this building is. >> host: the floor of the justice department's. >> guest: the top floor. if the top floor of the justice apartment. >> guest: you have also done courthouses.
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>> guest: all over america, and i have for years and years. and post offices of federal buildings. what is so fine, that is only drive across america. okay. well rear-ended we will go to this old town of that little town. here and there. >> host: to you remember bread that is? >> guest: the million dollar court room. what you called the million dollar? >> guest: that is what the cost. >> host: how long ago? >> guest: a couple of years ago. the other thing i do all of the place by eagles. i love eagles. they are everywhere in our building. because, of course, there are national. you find them at every configuration on earth. look at how magnificent that is. >> host: lafayette, louisiana.
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what did you take that building? >> guest: i get all sorts -- you know, i do whatever buildings and told. >> host: that john m. shaw federal building. >> guest: i look. >> host: louisiana, are day -- >> guest: aren't they just magnificent. so, what is so great is i am able to go see the art up close, photographic, touch and feel it. >> host: the david w. dyer federal building, a federal judge. >> guest: we know who she is. she did the vietnam memorial. well, she did digresses down in miami. there are like ways in the ocean. and it's all kind of, you know, mounds of dirt. but isn't that beautiful?
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it to stand a replica is the ocean. gorgeous. >> host: portland, ore. next. now, a shot like that. >> guest: you know what this is, this is the el actually holding court. so will artistic statements, all animals. you see up there, the dog in the cat, and they're holding court. it's a courthouse. >> host: named after former senator mark hutchins. >> guest: but isn't that just one? that is the art. i never know what i'm going to run into. >> host: there is one more, too. >> guest: i know. i always like to take the camera person. >> host: this is the minneapolis. >> guest: that's so fine. >> host: did you ever, in all of your photography and all, did you ever find out how much it has cost us to do all of this? if it had been -- not your part
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of it, but all of this art that we have around the country. >> guest: they set aside so much for each building. so, you know, i'm sure it's millions of dollars, but i believe in it because it is our emotional. it's a good thing. it's very good. >> host: born in north carolina car raised in minneapolis. what were your parents doing? >> guest: both southern. my dad was a manufacturing representative, and my mother worked for billy graham's. >> host: doing what? >> guest: she was an assistant city editor of decision magazine, and decision magazine was the largest magazine in the world time. isn't that amazing? she has 93 years, about the same age as billy graham's. i remembered the polygram, the association, it was one room, and the group from that to this mega, mega amazing this. >> host: she is living in
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north carolina. >> guest: chicago. she is 93. still just as sharp as a tack. >> host: how many children? >> guest: just to, myself and my sister. my mother has 15 siblings. this. >> host: went to school partly in iowa, and then you also have some design somewhere. >> host: welcome i went at night. i finished my degree, paid for by abc at the time at american university. i actually wanted to get a degree and akita cases. >> host: account executive. >> guest: i was. i fail than marketing. i put together unusual things. there was the morning team. and i actually put together a sponsorship for them to go overseas to broadcast the oktoberfest.
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actually, broadcast back the oktoberfest and go over to england and broadcast, you know, the united states. i went with, of course. it unusual things. but it was fascinating. >> host: the library of congress, and this is an aerial shot. how did you get that? >> guest: well, new obama's you worked for the national park service. they have been unable to give me up in the air. of course it was a developing corporation. >> host: what buildings that? >> guest: the chump -- the thomas jefferson building from the air. the last time i went out the national park service site of the you know, while i'm at it have to get the library of congress because it so important to them to seep. it's such a statement because, you know, everything about the building is so fascinating. also to see all three buildings together. the building behind it. the madison building, which it
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can hardly see. >> host: over on the right. >> guest: right. this is the ceiling of the reading room. it is a whole depiction of civilization. and this is kind of the detail of that. if you could kind of look in on that you can see these images on the library of congress website. you will see abraham lincoln represents us, america. so it is all the different countries that are kind of put together civilization. lots of art here. but what i did, the went to years ago, the front doors. everything has to do with justice our knowledge or a motion or chemistry. you know, all about us as people . or knowledge. but anyway, so the photographs
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from the library of congress. the director of the center for architecture. this is the great hall. in so i can see they were kind of jumping at the bit to get more. so register bundling for a couple more years. i was able to take a gurney, a lift, and even with the art. the problem is everywhere you look in the building there is our. even so easily just walk on by it. some of it is in the ceiling, or way upper you could not see it. so i was even with the art. photographed it all. and the reason it was so important, it could not have been done before. i did with the small the still camera like this. the fourth of what had been in this cumbersome for by five and would not have an ill to do those images on a resolution. i could not have done it on the
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left because the list was small. so it was kind of a new thing. i went up with a very large resolution does the camera and was able to capture all of this. i donated to them. i was thrilled to be able to pick do it because this building , well, tom did. they felt it was the most beautiful. i don't know. it is a magnificent building. it is a verdict of for me. it needed to be done. i am pro is still shut down. i could publish spend another year in there. like this. this is sitting on american soil. this is in from london.
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a fabulous place overseas. this is part on american soil, not only this iconic thomas jefferson building which is read the name because it is his book the start of the library of congress. >> host: the mural speech to the mosaic. and it is all mosaic. all these tiny little pieces that put this together. and like how gorgeous the american flag is here. this is magnificent. sometimes i like it. >> guest: sometimes i go home and work on voter shop. >> host: what year? >> guest: i have done it for years. over the last five years. >> host: this is the poacher euro. >> guest: when i go and i need something. the american indian.
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i mean that these. and these, i, like the artist. i mean, this is art. them into my fantastic. beautiful. >> host: done in the original building? >> guest: there were 50 artists as broad and. working on this building. and i'm telling you, like it or for another two years in power would not be done. there are hardly any words. how beautiful this building is. >> host: the main reason. >> guest: they all the page knowledge. >> host: do you ever feel like you are going to explode? >> guest: i really do okay. just come down.
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but you can see i have a great zest for it. and yet i have done it for 30 years, and i'm still not nervous. i still think it is amazingly worth it, and i think the long graduate the more i believe it. and when i was in alabama had people all around me. i would say to them, look, i am here for reason, and that is to showcase you and put you on the world stage. you're a small state, maybe not always photographed. i am down here for really the only reason. that is your an important piece of america. so, you know, yes to my have photographed america lot. but i could spend another 15 years without issue.
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>> host: which of your books is still in print? >> guest: well, the korean memorial book is still in print. still in print. >> host: ease station. >> guest: i sold the rights of that finally. always traveling. and then, of course, did a book in alabama last year the was privately published. i have not really had a lot of time for books. in order to keep them going. i have been so busy photographic america. >> host: so you are out on-site taking photographs. what do you do to protect yourselves the keep as digital images? where the store them? >> guest: welcome my store them. al is back up trice. i back upon to hard drives. i have a server that i can back up to. so am always very, very, very
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careful. there is no question. i don't -- it has been years since i've lost an image. i backed into a hard drive one time and was about ready to back up to the other one and that hard drive fell and that was the last i had just been at custer's last stand. i don't know. what -- might want to lose it. but did have it. that is about the last time. i was very careful, very careful >> host: the photographs you have taken in your life that have been exposed the most to people, most historic. >> guest: i will tell you the photograph that probably is closest to my heart and probably maybe has been exposed most. it's hard to tell because i don't know who goes on the website is the one that took from the air of the world trade center.
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absolutely pristine, not a bug in the water, nothing. and they fell two months later. it is an absolute perfect for by five image of new york with the world trade center. it is for by five. absolutely spotless. sharp, sharp, sharp. i am just throw the ticket because of course it will go to library of congress. because it's just, you know, that was, well -- >> host: what are you looking for to? >> guest: i can't wait to get started. just let me go. let me go out and capture it. as long as i live. >> host: next it? >> guest: as far as i know i will go back to alabama. as i say to my was pulled back a little bit so that we could go forward with the whole plan in place. i believe it will be alabama. as i said, the library of congress wants me to do
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libraries all over the country. tsa is re to send me up to the historic buildings. but probably become a usually i travel across the united states and back at least once a year. so until we actually get the sponsor up in place, would not say there is a state in place. but i think that it will -- well, it will happen this year. we have everything in place. >> host: you told us earlier that that camera can cost as much as $50,000. >> guest: just the back. there are other paraphernalia there. so by the time you're finished i would say probably 60. >> host: if you're just an ordinary everyday citizen taking pictures what you need? what do you need? >> guest: you know, i have taken a couple of my favorite images were taken on $19 plastic paris. you can take an image on anything. now, you know, i want very high
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resolution because and given my word to the american people on the world. but you might be somewhere, for instance, there was a man going by the pentagon when it was hit by the plane. somehow he got out of his car into can damage. that image is, of course, iconic. so i say to everybody, it's good to take with anything. it's all right. but, of course, i want a little bit higher rents are a lot highrise images because 100 years from now there will laugh. that will be nothing probably just really pioneering this whole thing. that is okay. that is the top of the room for the moment. i know that it is good enough that you can actually go and.
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there are in the glasses. that's good. i would say to everyone, just a fun with photography. it's still fun to have cameras to go up and recorded town. >> host: caroline smith in the washington d.c., photographer. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you. thank you for having me. ♪ ♪ >> try dvd copy of this program call 1-877-662-7726. for free transcripts are to give us your comments about this program visit us at q&a got word. programs are also available as c-span pot castes. ..
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>> this week on q&a, best-selling author simon winchester discusses his writing career spanning over 20 books including his newly released paperback version of atlantic. c-span: simon winchester i'm looking at a june 26, 2011 article "the daily beast" with the headline, why i am becoming an american. what is going on here? >> guest: well, it seemed a sensible thing to do on many levels. i mean emotional i am pleased i've been an american but i've lived here so long. it was such a pain, immigration
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and you can always even with a a green card be aware especially in these times that you could quite easily be thrown out through some transgression and so i decided that i would take all the necessary steps and be examined in a series of 10 question exam. i got one of the questions wrong. i have a friend who is also after citizenship and i said kiley, i got one of the questions wrong and she said not the one about what color is the white house? know, that when one i got but no, it is what is the american national anthem and i blurted out america the beautiful. i said in my view it should the but it's not. c-span: what would you, how could you have loved that exam? >> guest: well it mean some of the questions are very long.
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for instance i'm not going to turn the tables on you but one of the questions is what is the rule of law? c-span: yes? >> guest: what is the rule of law? it's actually, i mean -- reich it was at the constitution? >> guest: no, it's not. the rule of law according to come i mean according to the little booklet you get is everybody's equal under the law and then you say to yourself of course it is. c-span: but you got that one and. >> guest: i got nine out of the 10 right but i was right. c-span: when did you first come here? >> guest: i came in 1963. i had a girlfriend in montréal and i was then, 18 going on 19 and i had taken a year off between school and university, and came over here on the empress of britain which went from liverpool to montréal, and saw a friend and that was all
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lovely and then hitchhiked to vancouver, and then i had been utterly obsessed with america for years because in the 1950's my father had been offered a job here which on the very eve of our getting on the ship to go to new york he had gotten cold feet and decided not to go. my mother and dye desperately desperately were disappointed and i felt the one day i would visit america so i have the spare year. as i say i hitchhiked to vancouver and entered america under the peace arch in blaine, washington and the first sign i saw after welcome to the united states said it is illegal to hitchhiked or pick up hitchhikers so i thought that is quaint isn't it and just sat under the sign for a few moments. a chap in a convertible triumph trt took me to seattle i think or bellingham and that entire trip, which was 36,000 miles i think because i spent the better
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part of nine months tracking around america, i entered with 200 u.s. dollar bills and when i left from maine to go to new brunswick i had 182 of them left so it cost me $18. people were so overwhelmingly kind so i left america thinking this is not only a beautiful country, i got to meet the -- meet people like kirk douglas and johnny carson when he was opening a lock on the st. lawrence seaway. i thought not only is a beautiful but the people are amazingly hospitable and generous, completely unlike us in europe. c-span: you say in that article that, see if i can find it, dinner with kirk douglas, coffee was johnny carson. horse riding with harold stassen. how did you get to do all that? >> guest: well i went to topeka i think it was and i went to see i think the mandarin institute which is an institution of -- and someone said the other famous person,
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this is a famous institution but the other famous person is harold stassen. he is very nice, go and see him. i walked up to his door and he must have been in his 80s, fit as a fiddle. he said the ride horses? come riding with me. and we talked about running against roosevelt. it was like jumping on an express train. it was completely impossible to get any votes at all. he was a marvelous marvelous man. c-span: what about coffee with johnny carson? >> guest: that was tremendous. in those days of their mentor -- remember right the tonight show was taped in burbank and the tapes were flown back overnight to be broadcast from new york. it sounds archaic and some of -- but i think that is how it was done and i got very friendly with the fellow responsible for taking the tapes to the airplane every night. he sort of let me in on the green room and said you should meet johnny carson. johnny carson took a brief shot
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and didn't have me on the show but he said, and have a cup of coffee. c-span: what were you trying to do? and what was the for, where you buy yourself? >> guest: yes i was. c-span: in other words where did you get this wanderlust? >> guest: i'm not entirely sure but my parents were not at all, and i was the only child, my parents really didn't travel a great deal. it all went back to this deep disappointment. i sat next to a boy in school called raw low reid, whose father built cranes and lived in america and i thought living in america, this remember i was disappointed that my father didn't take us to america. he lived in -- and he would come back from the a holidays in school and show me pictures -- it sounds ridiculous at this
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stage -- make up the merritt parkway and i thought the merritt parkway was the most beautiful highway i had ever seen. i think that probably, this vision of this endless beautiful road and then obviously i knew about things like the grand canyon and so forth. i just thought, this is where i want to go so i had no wanderlust before i got to north america but once i did, i mean going from montréal simply you just get on the road, and all of a sudden there is walla walla and great superior and medicine hat and it does come -- incredibly romantic and people were astonishingly kind in canada. it just occurred to me that, every journey begins with the first avenue just take that first step in north america and you are reported handsomely by everything you see and everybody you meet so it was here that the wanderlust was born. c-span: the last time i had seen you, sitting in that chair, was 15 years ago for professor and
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the madman, which i read, basically they kicked you off as a success. not the show but that book. >> guest: i think the show helped so thank you. but no, up to that point, the books had done commercially very badly indeed. it got politely nice reviews but the books, essentially the progress from the typewriter to the remainder table was almost seamless with the appearance in the bookstore was just like a sort of gaudy irrelevance really but then came the professor and for some extraordinary reason, and it was a true story. it was a very difficult story to tell when it wasn't difficult to write. it took six weeks i think that somehow, in fact i know the real reason that triggered it off, i don't mean to bore you at any great length that i was in the arctic doing research for the next book is a professor in the
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madman under a different title have been published in england, to the normal resection which was polite reviews and not particularly good sales. i was up in the arctic, way way up, 81 north they think with an australian friend of mine in this particular part of the world you're not allowed to take your rifle which is a pain because we would be terrorized by polar bears but you must take the radio so if you can imagine we are in the middle of nowhere and suddenly the radio docs enter life, is mr. winchester there? they said are you anywhere near a telephone? i said i you have got to be kidding, no. i'm in the middle of absolutely nowhere. is this a matter someone died? no, no, no but someone from new york really needs to speak to you and i said well there's a geological but -- geological field camp three days march from me if i turn 10 degrees northwards. so i did and basically to make a long story short, publicist, it
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never had a publicist in my life, said you have to come back to new york quickly because someone wants to see you, someone from "the new york times." the plane landed on skis in which harpercollins paid for, flew down to new york, saw this awfully nice chap who used to be a theater critic and then did a column called at lunch with, and he had lunch and we talked about this book, the professor in the madman and then i flew back to the arctic. then i came back to new york having finished the expedition and said to the publicist, what was all that about? she said really, in this business at "the new york times" says jump you to say how high? he apparently liked you in the lunch went well. the piece will be in the times. we have but on the first page of the art sections on monday soon. well every monday and me went past and every monday in june, every monday in july and every
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monday in august. the end of august she rang me. the good news is that peace will be on the front of the hour section on monday next and it's a wonderful piece. he loved the book, for five pictures. that is the good news. the bad news is something u.s. englishman probably don't realize that next monday is labor day and no one in new york reads "the new york times." well that might normally have been true but labor day 1998 i think it was in new york it range from dawn until dusk and they had nothing to do but read "the new york times" and they didn't go well to their politics and prose. they went to this newfangled thing called amazon and that night he got to number one. so what great good fortune was that? since then the books have all done rather better than beforehand. c-span: i wonder, why didn't you just talked to the guy on the phone? that seems to me to be --
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how many days did it take you to go back and forth? >> guest: not only that, was extremely expensive. to go back to the telephone call with the publicist, she said we really need you to get to new york. icj nine thousands of miles away in the arctic or cauchy said we really need you. are you anywhere near an airport? i said no i'm not but on the other hand if i'm being honest with you there is a landing strip at where these geologists get in and out. it will cost. she said, call for one. the first and only time in my life that i was so that they plan. it's a great feeling. c-span: do you have any idea to the state how many testers have sold? >> guest: i have the vaguest idea and i know that jane friedman who was the ceo of harper and they ordered 10,000 to be printed. they had no belief and a
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reasonable lack of belief that a book about lexicography would sell any copies at all but it's in the low millions. it's done alright. c-span: you are still living off of it? >> guest: you could say that yes but to be realistic the whole book business, i am glad i didn't buy porsches and things like that because nowadays, they writer is a high-wire existence. c-span: give us a minute synopsis of those that are wondering what in the world is professor in the madman and they can still buy it? >> guest: absolutely and it's still in hardback. is a story, a man wc minor who is an american dr. came from new haven and he was in the army, and military doctor in the civil war, something unpleasant happened to them and it triggered madness. and he became seriously mad. his parents decided that he should go to london to perhaps recuperate and they knew john
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ruskin. this is all in the 1870s. he didn't get that are at all and in fact he shot someone dead, an irishman, and for this he was sent, he was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity but nonetheless sends to a huge and still existing asylum west of island called broadmoor. heber friended and credibly the widow of the man he had shot dead and she would come to his cell every month, bearing among other things piles of books. one day between two of the volumes, he found tucked into liberally by the bookseller, a four-page brochure which have been put out by a man called james mary who is the editor of the then oxford english dictionary that was being constructed in oxford calling for volunteers who had time on their hands and interest in literature and who were able to read books with a view to finding words in the context in which they were used to send to the dictionary.
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and wc minor, sitting in his cell lined with books and having plenty of time on his hands said, i can do this and he did and anonymously for many many years not ebbing away the idea that he was a lunatic and a murderer and an american he became the biggest of all contributors to the oxford english dictionary. there was this from wonderful moment where the editor, frustrated that this man would ever come to any of the bank was there were held for the completion of the volume or related b or c for d said if he is not coming to me i'm going to him. he took a train down to crow horn which is by the asylum and horse-drawn carriage came and picked him up and clip off through the lanes and deposits them outside of this huge mansion. you're shown by serving upstairs to a man, who was sitting in a booklined study and said good afternoon sir i am james mary the editor of the oxford
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dictionary and you must be wc minor. he said no i'm not wc minor. and the superintendent of the of ride more lunatic asylum and wc minor is here but you ought to know three things about him, he is mad, he is a murderer and he is an american. i will take you to them directly and they became the very best of friends. c-span: fast-forward. we found this on their web site, as a couple of still pictures and some audio. let's watch. spin hello this is simon winchester. i'm wandering around the united states at the moment researching a new book and as i go i will be recording a number of what i'm calling audio postcards. well i am sitting in the middle of the missouri river, and western montana, one of the most remarkable pieces of geography and history in the entire united states.
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well, this is simon winchester and an extremely remote part of northwestern colorado, and looking northwards i can see what looks just like the badlands of south dakota, arid, mountainous, very eroded. c-span: now, that is all we found. did you do more than that? >> guest: i did and in fact another one on the lonely is wrote in america, route 57 in nevada and a couple more. i realize there are only two on the web site at the moment. c-span: why did you even do that and obviously in obviously what is it leading to? >> guest: well, this goes partly back to my publicist who said if you -- the thing about web sites for people like me forget about them unless you have someone and i i don't have someone who looks after it really so you have have to keep refreshing it and i try and refresh it every sunday by putting a word of the week into it, so that keeps it up to date.
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and i carry a reasonably decent tape recorder with me and my wife who often comes, is really another good photographer so, we thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to record little postcards in audio. as i wander around on this trip, partly it has to be said too, to act as a teaser and to interest people in the book that i'm trying to write, but of course it falls flat on its face it isn't the writers don't do any of them so i will try to do some more but they're a couple of more to put in. c-span: i am looking at tweets, and this is day one of ike 1919 expedition, left zero-mile marker d.c. at noon, now in gettysburg, today the shanksville pennsylvania than ease palestine, ohio, rain. that is day one of what? >> guest: it rained a great deal in the early parts of the
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trip. on the specific trip that was to follow the route that the young captain eisenhower and in 1919, the late summer of 1919, basically the american army following world war i were doing some planning on what would happen if america were to be invaded by what they called an asiatic enemy, how quickly could we get troops from the big bases in the east to the south to the west? and of course they could use the railways with the railways were under capacity. what about the roads? so they sent a military convoy about three miles long which assembled on the ellipse of the white house and it went north up to gettysburg and then turn left and followed what was then called the lincoln highway and in fact it's still called the lincoln highway and young eisenhower was given a temporary rank of lieutenant colonel. he went as an observer but he kept a diary which printed out
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and we follow the trip which went to guess, as you can see it went from pennsylvania in two ohio, illinois, indiana and so my wife and i went the whole way. we wanted to camp. we took a tent and sleeping bags and things. the first few days it was fairly grisly, the weather so we stated b lowe b's but thereafter we camped and was absolutely fascinating and 20 odd days later we fetched lincoln park in san francisco where beside the law stop is an equivalent concrete marker, equivalent not as grand to the white house but saying this is the endpoint of the expedition so they took 58 days i think. we take 18 in a land rover rather than a tank but nonetheless it was fascinating. c-span: i wrote down, got on the web site and wrote down, if i
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can find it here a month all the details on exactly how many people were on the trip. are good do you know? >> guest: i think it was 250. it was quite a bit. the convoy itself was three miles long and there were all manner of armored cars, there were track vehicles, ambulances, cooking, serried tithe vehicles. they had a catalogue of disasters every day. things were breaking down in axles were being benton cars and tanks were falling off the road. there was one particular vehicle called the millipore which seemed bent every day on hauling people a ditches. and then it got into trouble somewhere in utah but the thing was the roads were reasonable up to council bluffs, iowa, across the missouri river and after that there were essentially no roads until you get to lake tahoe in california.
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so that 12 or 1500 miles for these vehicles was almost impossible, and when eisenhower wrote his report, he virtually said if there is an asiatic enemy we are going to take 58 days to go from our basesfaces, we have lost basically. so it lodged in his mind there and then that we have to have a decent road system, conventional belief is that when he saw the german autobahn system in the 1940s that is when he said america has got to have this road system. that i think that's not quite true. i think the real german society 30 years before a 1919 when he did it for himself. c-span: so this book, what is the timetable? >> guest: well, the book is much more than simply this. what i'm trying to do and i think it's, i am and that position at the moment where i have got the idea that done most of the trips but it is just such
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a massive amount of stuff in my mind. organizing it is the key although what i'm trying to do is to partly as a celebration of becoming an american but also to say who was it, what united this country together so let's follow all the major trips, louis and clark obviously in 1804 and 1805, a gel which is called carlos king who did the first survey of the west at lincoln's instruction in the 1860s, theodore jude or who was essentially the architect of the transcontinental route road in the west, harold sibley and sandra moss who were really the people behind the transcontinental telegraph system, edolphus washington greeley, great hero of mine who did the same thing in alaska, the telegraph system and fast forwarding to the construction of the interstate highway system and possibly although i don't think it is nearly as romantic
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to look at the internet backbone today which is important that sort of bloodless wears all these expeditions were very, name you had to be very brave to be involved in them and even the building of the interstates. this man mcdonald who was the real architect he was something of a hero in the 40s and fifties out there, plotting the routes of where the interstate should go in nevada or new mexico. so, the working title for the book is the man who united the states in the subtitle will be, essentially, answering the question well, are the states as united as these visionaries hoped they might be? that makes it somewhat more political book but there is another thing i wanted to draw into it too if i can if it doesn't look too artificial. i'm assessed with sherwood anderson. this portrait of what he called grotesque, people that in their search for truth become somewhat
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odd, somewhat caricatures and all of these people were. i i've made, clarence king being the absolute perfect example of a really weird chap. here we have i believe a yellow educated east coast patrician and white man who acted as, after the survey he went on to become the head of, the first head of the united states geological survey but as you probably know he had this passion for black women and created for himself and alter ego called james todd and as james todd, pretending he was a pale skinned pullman porter met and married a black woman in baltimore and had a number of children by her and every so often would say well i have to catch the sunset liberty and would have sensibly take it to california but what he would actually do was go back to the u.s. geological survey office and say that was quite an expedition i have been on and he was kept this up or years.
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he didn't confess to his wife until i think the year before he died so this is the kind of magical person. there are lots of them in the story. c-span: is there a number on the lincoln highway? >> guest: 30. it is u.s. 30 for most of its length. gets weird after salt lake city but most of it is 30. c-span: so what is the best thing you saw on the strip in the worst? this is really kind of a broad question about the united states. >> guest: well i think the best thing has to be -- the road goes past dinosaur national monument in colorado utah border and i have never been to it are going into many of the national parks but this was a new one and to drive into the park is 45 miles off the main road and then thank heavens where the land rover and with this particular campsite you can't go down unless you you have four-wheel-drive. 12 miles, switch back down, not far from where powell and other
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great leaders one-armed if you remember, explore the grand canyon where he launched into his expedition. they beran's a sensational campground. there were three or four campsites in the ranger that comes once a week to make sure the firewood and the roads are clear and everything. these great towers of sandstone right in the middle of the wilderness with extraordinary wildlife. that was magical. but then, when you go on the louis and clark trip, i think the depressing thing that i found an one particular trip that i went on for these huge agricultural industry plans that you see along the columbia river particularly where most of america's french fries are made and these gigantic factories which you know are not good for anybody in these huge butchering plants and these fast feedlots for cattle.
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that side of america, agribusiness. when i came here first in the 70s, 60s rather, i stayed with some farmers, the judges north of aims in iowa, and i had heard, they taught me how to drive, another wonderful thing i did when i was 19 and i had heard over the years that the -- disappeared. on the eisenhower trip i looked them up and i found them. they are still there, and they were, i mean they are no longer young and he doesn't farm corn and soybeans as he used to. yet a quarter section which was perfectly adequate to make a living for he and his children but now he said the economics of farming have completely changed and you can't make money unless you own thousands of acres. it's all for industry. there is nothing romantic about farming anymore and i found that rather depressing but i'm glad they were still there and
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healthy. looking back to a nicer time when farming was a more gentle pursuit. c-span: when you were here before you said you had, and i don't know the exact words, you said you had two failed marriages and now you were talking about a wife. when did this happen and how did happen and who is a? >> guest: it happened here in washington d.c. oddly enough. she was a producer at npr, and i used to be on -- she was one of the producers on talk of the nation and they would have me on from time to time and as you know it is a lively -- radio program. i had seen her name and for some reason all the e-mails i had from her i thought that she was something like -- on "the new york times" who is a fiercely intelligent, gray-haired, no reason to be in kind but she is not young. c-span: she did reviews.
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>> guest: i sort of thought in my mind, it would be someone like that. but then one day i was supposed to be on her show and i had a frightful sore throat and i sounded like the hound of hell and i thought there's no way i will be used to pound northeast. i e-mailed her and i said i'm afraid i can't be on your show today. she said i'm sorry, she rang up which we had never spoken before. she said you have got to be on the show. i can't lose a guest three hours before a live show. and you sound fine. gargle with salt or something. that is what my mother told me to do. she was so persuasive in so nice and so forceful, i thought i have got to meet this woman. i didn't then but a few months later i was again on her show, this time in san francisco where they were doing a live feed on the anniversary of the san francisco earthquake because i had written a book about it and
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it was on the 18th of april, 2006. so i was in exploratory am in san francisco and there was this adorable lady and she had such command of the audience. i tease her to this day, with a live studio audience giving instructions on how you applaud and then she did this word like thing and you are to still vehicle -- applause to make why. i thought not only do i want to meet this woman but i want to take her out. so we met about a week later here in washington d.c. and as they say one bled thatch -- one thing led to another. c-span: what year did you get married? >> guest: we got married shortly thereafter. we got engaged on my birthday the 20th of september, 2006 and we had first met in april. i asked her to marry me on the jefferson memorial here in washington and we got married on her birthday which is the 24th of january, 2007 in new york.
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c-span: is that a japanese name? >> guest: she is born here, speaks fluent japanese. her parents ran a chain of stores in new york, sort of the precursor to pier one imports. they sell paper lanterns and umbrellas you stick in drinks and -- they were briefly successful but then there was this implosion and they don't do it anymore. c-span: where he lived now? >> guest: i live on 17th street in manhattan but most of the time, we have this farm in massachusetts and i safe arm, it's a bit of an acreage. most of it is forced and we have some other scraggly apple trees that have just been pressing this year and giving away the cider and we have chickens and a nice tempered goose and we have these in one thing i have to do before this autumn is over to get the honey before the bears
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do. i feel fail bluster but this year i put an electric fence around the honey so i hope to get the honey out. c-span: you told me something before we started the surprise me. when you were here 15 years ago for booknotes that was your first ever television interview? >> guest: related to a book. i think was also -- it must have been on the new show. c-span: you did radio too didn't you? >> guest: yes and indeed i have to say i introduced a television program with you on books called, golly, footnotes wasn't it or bbc2. the reason i'm slightly forgetting it is because it was all taped that but there was one life performance which was the award of the -- in 1983 or something. c-span: is like a pulitzer or national book award? >> guest: exact way and it was a complete disaster. it was a production disaster. i were a dinner jacket, which someone said i look like a
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collection agent from the mafia and there was also another man, an interview with john fuller and english novelist and i asked a question, what is the state of the english novel? he started answering in the camera cut back to me and a critic in of the daily mail said we captured the -- and then the man who wanted which was the life and times of michael k. chipra over one of the wires and fell flat on his face and the producer was fired and i left and solidarity. c-span: here you are 15 years ago on the program. >> this is the only book i've ever written which didn't require new travel at all apart from to a lunatic asylum in berkshire and yet it seems possible or probable actually because this book actually got to number one in england which amazed me, that this will be my most successful book and i think
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someone is telling me that mr. winchester i think perhaps travel writing is not based genre you should exploit. maybe you should stay at home, dig your garden, look for a new wife and settle down right books of history. >> guest: golly. [laughter] yeah that is sort of what i do nowadays. c-span: in a book called the alice in wonderland i counted 21 books. i assume there are more than that though. >> guest: i think that's it. i'm sorry to disappoint you but i think it is only 21. c-span: the one on top here, also by simon winchester is atlanta, the biography of the ocean and i have a hardback copy here that i understand the paperback is out. >> guest: yes the paperback is out, so -- c-span: what led to that?
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i read one of the statistics in your book that something like the ocean has been around for 170 million years and we have another 170 million? why did you find interest in this? >> guest: web i used to be a geologist, not a very good one but i sort of knew how the ocean was formed and people in the business of -- know when they believe the ocean will cease to be. that's not to say i need to do it before it ceases to be. there will be 100 million years before it disappears but i grew up alongside the atlantic and i crossed it when i first came to this country and it just occurred to me that when one crosses is so easily now, some people do anyway, in airplanes, we have come to disregard it. it is really an expansive distance, just a nuisance that keeps us getting to new york as quickly as we would like. so i thought, from what i knew
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about it, it was in fact a very romantic and beautiful ocean and also i would argue the most important of the worlds oceans. i think you can make the case that the mediterranean was classical situation but i think we can rightly say that so much has gone on in the atlantic in history that you can say the atlantic was the sea of western modern civilization so let's take a look at it. once again, structure was the difficulty, how do you gather all the information about this great body of water and make it into a digestible whole that doesn't look encyclopedic? and traveling back from lincoln to new york and i had with me my favorite poetry anthology by david 01 who used to be the british foreign secretary and very nice sensitive man who
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loves poetry. and he had corralled all the poems that he particularly loved and organize them and the book was called seven ages but he organize them according to the seven ages of man. so it starts with poetry relating to infancy and then a schoolboy and then the lover of the and the soldier and the justice and then the old man and then return to childhood and i thought golly, and sitting there on the plane reading it and i suddenly thought, well i could use this, shakespeare as far as we know never went to the atlantic but that template actually everything that i knew about the atlantic could be corralled into the seven categories so a soldier would be everything to do with war and slavery and piracy whereas the lover would be everything to do with our romantic relationship, paintings and the music, mendelssohn and the architecturl
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and thus far the book no one has said how ludicrous to you shakespeare is the template but it seems to work. c-span: which of these 21 books after -- is professor still the number one seller for you? >> guest: i think so. every time there is a volcano, a rush in, think there is one about to erupt in bolivia as we speak, i think that did very well so i had never had a number one bestseller in america. i got to number two so that was higher than the professor forgot on their times. c-span: after all these books you have written what is your sense about what sells? >> guest: well, that is very interesting because you don't arrive with books on lexicon. it's a bit of a mismatch except
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i've -- what encourages me particularly about america, this is very different from england. in britain the bestseller lists are dominated by celebrity memoirs and david beckham and amy winehouse and that sort of thing. in america, while there there is a lot of nonsense on the list, american readers seem to love to get their teeth into big works. i'm talking just about nonfiction. they seem to like serious nonfiction. they don't mind people being serious. i think in britain if you are serious, this comes up in julie barnes' new book, since it and think ending which ones this year's prize, one of the characters.-- talked about the embarrassment englishman feel about being serious whereas in america they like seriousness as long as the seriousness is packaged in a digestible form so i think that somehow answers the question of why a book on
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lexicography would sell more than 10,000 copies in sexton and that -- except in that particular case in astoria, the redemption, the unsung hero being plucked from the security and misery ends thrust into happiness in the limelight. but i think in short, narratives like -- americans like serious writers. reich are you a appeared on our in-depth program in 2004. here is a clip from that. >> it's the end of the day's writing to read it out loud and to me, standing up and declaring it in the same way as you declare poetry convinces me whether i can feel myself getting flat and boring. you think if i am boring myself when i'm reading this, as sure as anything i will be boring the reader so i would redo it. i would get the piece of advice that i get it to my students when i talk about assistance and
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the idea but also the simple practical idea, stand up and read what you have written. for doesn't sound right when he read it doesn't read right either. c-span: are you still doing this? >> guest: i do. no one is around to see me but yes, i stand up and read the pieces out loud and as i say if it bores me, and you can feel it. if you say my god this is turgid and full of too many independent clauses in the future sit down and read it. i have to take my own advice. c-span: pretend for a moment we are in a business class and your guest and i'm going to ask you questions about the business of what you do. looking back over your career, how do you make money doing this
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my books were not selling at all so in 1998 i had written this book on the gang she river which as usual was nicely reviewed but
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sold no copy so i thought i've i have got a real problem. am i going to go into public relations or something like that and then the professor came along and suddenly the possibility of actually making a living out of writing suddenly occurred to me that the possibility, well i could be a one-hit wonder but i read this book called the map that changed the world about a relatively obscure geologist who turned out to be essentially the founder of modern geology. that book do terribly well, so i think believing all the time that this is going to end sooner or later so i had better be prudent, and not going by the states in bombay and cars and things. i could possibly make a living writing because i don't think many people do. the most successful writers apart from a very small number of novelists, particularly, have
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day jobs usually teaching at universities but i don't so this is very much a high-wire act and these days, disguising the fact that book sales are going down, chances are going down, how long can this be sustained? well, so i'm looking for alternate avenues and mercifully i am interested in new technology. so i am in the field of apps now and while i'm writing this american book i'm also involved in, sounds rather bizarre, but the construction of an app relating to a huge collection of skulls, so it will come out later this year and i think there's a chance it will sell quite well in which case there is another avenue of making a living. i won't say making money. c-span: why would 11 be an app on skulls?
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>> guest: well, the people that are making it in london who are old friends of mine, first of all did this with the elements and they sold it for, each app for $14.95. and the revenue split, the developers 70% apple similarly with the solar system. they use a strange technology. i will show it to you later. it involves spinning so the planets are in my case the skulls can be manipulated and spun on the screen. i think every child is fascinated. it's an educational tool that is remarkable. taxonomically it is correct. it's a remarkable, something -- i sound something like a salesman. it's a remarkable piece. i'm not going to go -- i'm going to go down fighting if you like but i want to look for other ways to get into the new world
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of writing not just let the waters close over me. c-span: what about speaking? had he done that for money? >> guest: yes, i have for money. c-span: is that a lucrative business? >> guest: it is in bad actually. sometimes you find a lot of financial institutions like they pay a lot of money but i believe they don't listen really. they don't really care unless you are al gore or bill clinton or someone like that but the people who i love talking to for instance geologists are just last week i was doing it benefit in houston at the museum of the history of printing. they listened, they love the stories and you feel you are doing some good. and also taking a bit of cash home to the wife. c-span: in 2005, we pick you up on camera in san francisco. >> so i had this envelope on the
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table in front of me and i thought it was a check from the states but not at all. was a letter which said, anonymous as i say you claim the epicenter of the 1906 quake was not in lima but daly city. where's your supporting evidence? i understand, jan morse is your guru. born male, james morse had a reassignment surgery in morocco in 1972 and adopted the name jan. perfect guru for someone like yourself speaking in san francisco. we don't need any more general pronouncements from geologist. if they can develop their signs to the point where they can tell us that an earthquake is coming in five days terrific, tell me it's an issue no. otherwise, shut up. [laughter] c-span: i don't know i've ever heard it referred to as a sexual reassignment. where did you get that? >> guest: someone wrote it.
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though jan as i told the last time we met, was very much my guru. i was living and working in uganda is a geologist in 1967, 66, 67, and read this book called coronation everest which was published by faber about, written by james morris who was the times correspondent that went with the expedition that got to the summit in 1953 and it was an amazingly exciting book. james morris had never climbed anything higher than a welsh 3000 foothill and now all of a sudden he has fixed ropes and he is at 25,000 feet in the himalayas in reporting on this amazing exhibition which succeeds in using an elaborate system of coded messages and flags he manages to get the news of their success back to london to be published in the times on
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the morning of the second of june, 1953 which is the day our present queen was crowned. the queen is crowned, the british expedition has conquered the word that was used the world's highest mountain so when i read this account in my print in africa i thought, well i am a hopeless geologists and what i read in this book sounds as if it's on the making of a career that would be much more suitable. i think i would be much happier instead of walking around the world with a hammer and a bottle of sulfuric acid and a magnifying glass, go around the world with a pen and a notebook so i wrote to james is that i'm a 21-year-old geologist sitting in east africa and can i be used basically? ordinary circumstances the writer would ignore him but james didn't. he wrote this incredibly kind letter back saying if you are serious the day you get this letter, not next week, not next
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month but the day you get it, give up your job as a geologist and come to england and get a job at a local paper. i did in that afternoon was driven to and heavy, nice of you to stop by that we are glad you have left and flew back to england with all this conceit of you thinking every newspaper in the land will want to report it but nobody did of course in six months later i did get a job on a paper and wrote to james again. you could hear the gulp, you took my advice, you stood up? he said look three pieces of advice, it is the most wonderful job imaginable. you'll never make much money but number one, never lose your sense of wonder. you will travel all over and meet all sorts of people and you will attempt to be cynical or jaded, don't. is the most wonderful opportunity and don't squander it. number two don't bother to learn shorthanded number three every
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month send me your clippings and i will annotate them and send them back and turn you into a halfway decent writer. well that went on for years. we never met until 1974 when i was living here in washington, cover the resignation of nixon, at least try to cover gerald ford's apology although that day i was actually covering evil knievel attempting to write over the snake river canyon but i then went climbing in north wales and the woman i was climbing with said doesn't your friend james morris live here? i said yes but i've never met him. this is ridiculous, you have got to ring them up. i was terrified that i did ring him and he said simon i thought you were in washington. i read you everyday and i created you. where are you? ion three miles away in a hotel. he said you must come for tea. so we went climbing all day, came down and went to his house
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and when he opened the door, he had changed into a woman. c-span: you did not know that? >> guest: no idea at all. he was dressed in pearls with a little skirt and a sleeve and all the accoutrements of woman had. the following week he had reassignment surgery. she and i read a book together and have been the best of friends, bosom, pals. she comes to new york when ever she is over. she is now 85 i think. we are the best of friends. c-span: let's go over some things we talked about. the book you're writing now will be out when? >> guest: i will deliver to the publishers in july 2012 and it ought to be published in early 2013. peco and your app will be out when? >> guest: the applicant will come out by thanksgiving of this year, so we wanted it to be out for halloween but there were issues back in london related to
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damien hirst's diamond skulls, most expensive artwork in the world. there were copyright issues but that is a side issue. c-span: we only have a couple of minutes. did you learn anything as you travel across the united states? how many days total was a? >> guest: on the eisenhower trip it was about 25. c-span: did you learn anything about the political mood that we have and maybe heard about? >> guest: nothing that you haven't heard about it. i was deliberately on the way back. i came through texas and mississippi, and the distance i feel from washington d.c., the gulf is amazing and indeed for not wishing to be -- in the united states is a very strong feeling particularly in places like west texas. they feel we are not part of the united states. we should be independent and run our own affairs and keep our own tax revenues and arrange our own
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defenses. we don't feel that one with those people up in washington d.c.. slightly similar expressions in places like mississippi, different reasons. partially racial because race -- the civil war, something i found very strongly in the deep south on this particular trip but much more fractious than i imagine. america is not as united as it seems. c-span: one thing i've never asked you is do you have any children? >> guest: i have three boys, one in bucharest romania today. he is the global ambassador for tanqueray gin. after writer son who is in cambodia wishing to stay there and be an editor of the phnom penh post and i have my youngest son with two grandchildren, a little girl one of him as a model, six years old and he runs a group of restaurants in london
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so yes, three boys. c-span: putting aside the fact that you are now an american and that you live in new york city and all of that did you have to pick from the very best but you have ever been any and all these travels over the years, for i don't know, beauty or whatever, what would you pick? >> guest: i would always come back to the west coast of scotland. i was very happy as where he wrote the map to change the world and i was on that little island called the isle of laying in argyle and if i stood on my desk i could see that head land where george orwell wrote 1984 and he lived in a little house on the island of jericho called on hill and my homage to him is the barnhill farms said to me the west coast of scotland. c-span: any anti-feeling from your former revish or are you still british? >> guest: i am and the
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question, any anti-feeling? there most certainly is an effect when i was on the tour for the book, alice behind wonderland a woman came up to me and said i'm not ready to buy your book because you are a traitor and stop being a brit. it's interesting, this is a whole other line of questioning which we don't have time for but i didn't sell nearly as well as britain. i sold well then australia and new zealand but in britain there is a cruel live, how dare you go to the other side. it bothers me slightly. c-span: i have got your hardback version of the atlantic, our guest for the last hour has been simon winchester, author of 21 books, thank you very much for visiting. >> guest: thank you very much indeed. for a dvd copy of this program
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